The Corruption Of The American Dream: Character Analysis: "The Great Gatsby" By F. Scott Fitzgerald And "Of Mice And Men" By John Steinbeck

1428 words - 6 pages

The American Dream is known to many as the desire for a better life, be that politically, religiously, economically, or simply the overall quality in one's life. For years, Americans have been chasing this dream. The British came to the New World in search of gold and wealth. Immigrants have been coming to America from all other parts in the world in search of a better life, whether they are escaping religious or political persecution, trying to find wealth, or looking for better job opportunities. There are four major beliefs of the American Dream: the belief that everyone can participate equally, the belief that it is reasonable to anticipate success, the belief that success is a result of ...view middle of the document...

The ability for one to change social class all depends on their achieved and ascribed characteristics. An achieved characteristic is based on accomplishment, merit, or achievements. An ascribed characteristic can be one's family, race, gender, age, or religion. In other words, "It's where the stork dropped you off" (Berry Notes).The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, is a novel about Jay Gatsby and his intricate dream to win back Daisy Buchanan's love. In the novel, Gatsby throws great parties at his huge mansion, all in an attempt to impress Daisy. In fact, Gatsby had to work long and hard to achieve the things he needed in order to impress Daisy. "James Gatz - that was really, or at least legally, his name. He had changed it at the age of seventeen... his parents were shiftless and unsuccessful farm people - his imagination had never really accepted them as his parents at all" (Fitzgerald, "Gatsby" 104). Gatsby met Dan Cody, who was new money, and asked him to be his mentor. Cody tried to teach Gatsby all he knew about how to act, but in fact he was teaching him how to act like new money, when Gatsby would have to know how to act like old money in order to impress Daisy. He then met Daisy, and fell deeply in love with her, but went off to the war, and when he returned, she had already married Tom Buchanan. Gatsby then decided that it would be his goal to win Daisy's love back. He made illegal money in order to save up to buy his huge mansion, which happened to be right across the water from Daisy's home. He then met Nick Carraway, Daisy's cousin, and had Nick arrange a get together for them. "'I'm going to fix everything just the way it was before...' He talked a lot about the past and I gathered that he wanted to recover something, some idea of himself perhaps, that had gone into loving Daisy. His life had been disordered and confused since then, but if he could once return to a starting place and go over it all slowly, he could find out what that thing was..." (Fitzgerald, "Gatsby" 117). After Nick arranges for Gatsby and Daisy to reunite, Gatsby shows Daisy his mansion because he wants to impress her and show her that he can take care of her. "He hadn't once ceased looking at Daisy and I think he revalued everything in his house according to the measure of response it drew from her will loved eyes" (Fitzgerald, "Gatsby" 96-97). Gatsby and Daisy then begin an affair, but Daisy's husband Tom becomes suspicious. In an attempt to keep his wife, he tells Daisy that Gatsby is a criminal, and Daisy realizes that her status is more important than her relationship with Gatsby. While driving home from New York, Daisy hits Tom's mistress, Myrtle, with her car, but Myrtle's husband, George thinks...

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